Reader Lloyd Bagwell has sent an astute comment in response to an article, called “Sublimation According to Anna Freud," we published earlier:
I want to ask a serious question. Why is modern orgonomy seemingly so incapable of making a social stand against the repression of natural sexuality?
I don’t understand what prevents anyone writing anything specifically for the youth to help them deal with armoring and the sex-negative societies they live in.
Is it technically too difficult; mainly due to a fear of setting the emotional plague off on another one of its rampages against orgonomy; or something else?
One of the goals of the emotional plague in attacking orgonomy was to make any followers scared to death of doing anything that would threaten the armored world, especially any practical social work.
Things have changed for the better since Reich’s day, but its worth mentioning that this progress didn’t just happen on its own ”“ people fought and worked very hard for every bit of it. We can’t just sit back and hope humanity is naturally going to give up its armoring and all will be well; it just doesn’t work like that.
I read in the paper the other day that 49% of parents want to bring back corporal punishment in schools in the UK. The other week there was another one ”“ out of 1700 parents asked 59% said it was wrong for children to learn about sex.
In many ways it looks like were moving backwards!
If I had found The Sexual Rights of Youth as a kid it could have saved me a lot of unnecessary suffering. I already knew that natural sexuality was vitally important and needed to be protected, but I felt completely alone in that view.
Orgonomy could have giving me the much needed back up I needed to stand up for my right to a healthy sex life, and given me the chance to learn about what I just called “The Sickness” (armoring) from a scientific perspective, instead of just having to go completely on gut feeling and common sense.
It’s obvious that the answer to Reich’s question, will children in 100 years be able to live their natural lives as nature ordains it, is a definite no, unfortunately. It’s doubtful they will be able to in another 500 years time.
This comment raises the issue of present day orgonomy organizations and their shortcomings in taking a stand against sexual oppression of youth. We agree with the impression of our concerned reader and think that it would be relevant to draw a parallel between the behavior of present day orgonomy organizations and the behavior of psychoanalytic institutions which were supposed to preserve and promote Freud’s discoveries. In both cases there has been a kind of "defection" from the founding principles of each group. For Freudians, it has happened already, and there is no reason to believe this will not happen with many orgonomists.
In his three-volume "The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud," Ernest Jones quotes a moment with the psychoanalyst: "With a quiet smile, he added, "it seems to be my fate to discover only the obvious: that children have sexual feelings, which every nurse maid knows; and that the night dreams are just as much a wish fulfillment as day dreams." Under much social pressure, even Freud talked less and less about libido and sexual theories. His students and psychoanalytic organizations avoided libido theory to the extent that nowadays, very little if any of it is taught or considered valid.
Front row: Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung
Back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, SÃ¡ndor Ferenczi
“Reich Speaks of Freud” contains the interview between Wilhelm Reich and Dr. Eissler, including these comments:
Elsewhere, the conversation delves more into the topic:
Dr. Reich: Yes, but you would say that it is.
Dr. Eissler: One hears less and less of it.
Dr. Reich: Less and less — that’s right. Yes, that’s right. I am glad that you gave me as much as that. One hears less and less. It’s more and more of sociology. This would not be bad, do you understand. If it was not a run-away.
Reich addresses Freud’s followers’ defection from sexual theory in his book "The Function of the Orgasm," noting in detail:
Regarding to Freud’s resignation, Reich describes it in following paragraphs from "Reich Speaks of Freud":
Dr. Eissler: Yes.
Dr. Reich: As if he had “to bite something down.” Now I don’t know whether you are on my line. Bite-the biting down impulse, swallowing something down, never to express it. He was always very polite, bitingly polite sometimes. Do you know what I mean? “Bitingly” somehow coldly, but not crewly. And it was here he developed that cancer. If you bite with a muscle for years and years the tissue begins to deteriorate and then cancer develops. Now that cannot be found in psychoanalytic theory, that comes right out of my work, out of orgonomy.
There is no reason to believe that the human race, which carries 6000 years of patriarchal and anti-sexual culture, will relinquish it quickly in 70 years since Freud. There is also no reason to believe that Reich’s students may behave differently than Freud’s own, just one generation earlier. However, Reich also made many hopeful statements which should be remembered by his students, and should be followed, by insisting on what is right even in a less honest world, even all alone. After all, Reich also wrote, in "The Function of the Orgasm":
We believe that Reich’s advice has already influenced, and will continue to influence new generation of students to promote orgonomy, as envisioned by him.